"Mistakes at the Top"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 30, 2012

We can all make mistakes. Some are far reaching and cause concern for many such as President Obama’s “open mike” statement to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. During a private conversation between the two on the last day of a nuclear security summit in Asia, Obama asked Medvedev for “space and flexibility on the missile defense issue until after the November election.”

President Obama’s statement was not that disturbing.

Unfortunately, it invited GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney to blurt out an alarming statement that “Russia is the United States’ No. 1 geopolitical foe.” There was surprise among the media regarding Romney’s choice of words, but are we not all aware he puts his foot in his mouth at least once a week?

Remember when he told us he did not care about the poor and the rich are doing fine? He also learned to regret saying President Obama “copied” his state’s health care plan.

Yet another ridiculous statement was made by Republican National Committee research director Joe Pounder when he asked Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse if he would be transitioning to the Putin administration because of all the attention given the statements. How childish can our political leaders get?

As the Supreme Court reviews and debates the merits of the Obama Health Care program, we all sit and await how their decision will affect our future. If a clear decision does not come forth soon, we may lose more doctors and potential medical students will chose other areas of study. Soon, no health care program will work for our country.

On a local note, before making changes, our state’s politicians should familiarize themselves with our laws and practices. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has placed a limit on law enforcement’s ability to stop boaters for safety inspections, including tallying the number of personal floatation devices on board if the boat has passed a safety inspection for the current year.

Consider this, if a vessel was inspected while two people were aboard and lifejackets for the two were presented, the boat may have received a sticker. If that same boat went on the water with six people on board, should it automatically be exempt from inspection? Can it be assumed another four PFDs will be available? Why would any responsible boater object to an additional inspection? It only takes a few minutes and would show your family or guests you care about their safety and have all required equipment on board.

I wonder if the lieutenant governor realizes the Coast Guard, a Division of Homeland Security, contributes a substantial amount of funds to Michigan’s marine division. Will his law change require shifting responsibilities from the sheriffs’ departments back to the Coast Guard? Might this affect funding received from federal contributors?

As a boating safety advocate, I have always been supportive of our sheriff’s marine deputies. I believe their inspections save lives and, as I see it, that is the objective of the inspections.

Respectfully, Mr. Calley I hope you will repeal the part of the law change that deals with vessel inspections after you consider its affect on the public’s safety. If you are a boater on the state’s waterways, perhaps the Coast Guard will do your vessel inspection because your new law does not apply to them.




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